5 Inexpensive Must-Have New Car Accessories

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5 Inexpensive Must-Have New Car Accessories

That shiny new car is in your driveway — now here are a few inexpensive accessories that will help make life with your new wheels that much more pleasant.

Portable Car Vacuum

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New-car smell is one of the most wonderful olfactory experiences one can have — so much so that it should be considered by historians and philosophers to be part of the great human experience.

The best way to keep that new car smell is to keep your car clean, and a portable vacuum is essential. These little suckers are powered by your car’s 12-volt power port, and they are cheaper than you might think—you can find one for less than $25.

Shop for a portable vacuum here.


Dash Cam

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Dash cams record the drama unfolding outside your windshield. They provide visual evidence in the event of an accident (“You see, Ms. Insurance Adjuster, he really did pull out in front of me!”) and you never know when something spectacular will happen that will make you a YouTube sensation. Dash cams are more affordable than you might think — you can find them as cheap as $25 or even less.

Shop for your dash cam here.


Rain-X Rain Repellent

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If you live where it rains and you’ve never tried Rain-X, you’re missing out. This nifty rain repellant puts a hydrophobic coating on the glass that causes water to bead up and flow off the windshield. At highway speeds, you can cruise through a downpour and not need your windshield wipers at all. Sure, it makes you safer, but with prices under 10 bucks a bottle, it’s worth it just for the novelty factor — and if you ski or snowboard, we understand that a coating of Rain-X works wonders on wet snow.

Shop for Rain-X for sale here.


Cellphone Mount

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Invariably, buying a new car is much like celebrating New Year’s Day in that it brings with it a host of resolutions: I will stop speeding up through yellow lights, I will find parking spots where my doors won’t get dinged, I will not eat smelly food in the car. Talking on your cellphone ought to be on the list, especially since it’s illegal in so many states. A cellphone mount keeps your phone in easy reach and makes your phone an effective navigation system — and you can buy one for less than $10.

Shop for a cellphone mount here.


Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

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Whether your car is new or old, your tires will lose air over time — about 1 pound per square inch (PSI) per month and another PSI for every 10-degree (F) drop in temperature. Low-pressure tires slow your car down and cause it to burn more fuel, and if they get really low, you’re at risk for a blowout. Most newer cars have a tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) that can warn you when the tires get really low, but why wait? A digital tire pressure gauge helps you keep your tires where they ought to be, and with prices ranging from $5 to $20, every glovebox ought to have one.

Shop for a digital tire gauge here.


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  • smartacus

    i did not realize rain-x works on skis and snowboards. good to know.